Millennial Capitalism and the Culture of Neoliberalism

ISBN: Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2715-8; Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2704-2

Publication Date: 01/01/2001

Reissue Date:

Editors: Jean Comaroff, John L Comaroff

The essays in Millennial Capitalism and the Culture of Neoliberalism pose a series of
related questions: How are we to understand capitalism at the turn of the twenty-first
century? Is it a singular or hydra-headed creature? What are we to make of the culture
of neoliberalism that appears to accompany it, taking on simultaneously local and
translocal forms? To what extent does it make sense to describe the present juncture in
world history, after the end of the Cold War, as an “Age of Revolution,” one not unlike
1789–1848 in its potential to change the world? In exploring the material and cultural
dimensions of the Age of Millennial Capitalism – carefully laid out in a wide-ranging
theoretical introduction by John and Jean Comaroff – the contributors interrogate the
so-called ‘crisis’ of the nation-state, the triumph of the free market and its more or less
hidden effects, rising tides of violence and cultures of exclusion, and the growth of new
forms of identity politics. The collection also investigates the tendency of neoliberal
capitalism to produce a world of increasing inequality, environmental degradation,
heightened flows of people and value across the planet, moral panics and social
impossibilities, bitter generational antagonisms and gender conflicts, yawning class
distinctions, and “pariah” forms of economic activity. In the process, it opens up an
empirically grounded, conceptual discussion about the world-at-large at a particularly
momentous historical time—when the social sciences and humanities are in danger of
ceding intellectual initiative to the masters of the market and the media.

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